In the market there are few choices that effectively serve the needs of all academic sectors, let alone the ability to support the entire business structure, which may include ERP, CRM, costing, logistics and more.
Moreover, especially in the academia there are special needs when it comes to security. An academic software solution must be able to restrict access on levels such as academic departments, branches, financial data and more.
But the right choice is far from just matching requirements to system capabilities.
Identifying the problem:
Historically, most academic institutions have based their operations on numerous bits of software rather than one common system. Most of the time these scattered tools are being developed in house by staff or other individuals who come and go. For every need identified by a department or any line of business, a new spreadsheet or other program is introduced.
Over time, the result is a fragmented business with dozens of spreadsheets and multiple products in multiple versions being used at the same time. This also has the downside of creating several isolated “islands” of data by maintaining copies of the same information multiple times for different purposes.
Because there is no connection between the various systems, a lot of time is lost in data entry and data correction, while the production of reports is always cumbersome.
Most of the solutions being used are often seriously outdated, yet they continue being used because the person who built them is no longer available. Worse, when the developer is available, an awkward, costly and risky dependence arises from the probability of losing them.
Many of the above problems often hide an inability of managing security issues and new requirements in an effective way across the entire institution; we isolate people and processes in small groups, so no one can see or affect the rest.
Finding the Solution:
Information technology advances rapidly, so do education services. There is a constant shift in what is perceived as “new and capable”. The legal and financial frameworks surrounding the academia also change and when they do, the impact on IT systems is heavy. A function-targeted, one-off investment in a system that “does everything we want” is bound to fail soon unless there is a reliable scope to adapt to changing circumstance as time progresses.
So the question is not just “which academic product” but “which strategic partner”!
Logismos is over 45 years in the software business, serving medium and large businesses.
We designed Athena, a product to serve all those needs of the academia that make it different from any other sector. It can adapt to any academic structure in order to support and manage departments, branches, courses, modules, lessons, schedules, teachers, students and their relatives, financial contracts, exams, assessments and many more.
It has built-in CRM functionality, tailored to the special needs of the academia. Every prospective student and every pre-sales action is recorded and users are assessed upon their ability to turn communications into sales.
Athena is fully integrated with Momentum, Logismos' established ERP product running successfully for decades in hundreds of businesses. It also provides a services-based API that can integrate with any third party ERP system. It is therefore fully compatible and adaptable with local financial legislations.
State of the art
We use the most successful software tools in the global market (.net, Oracle database, Elastic Search, Jasper Report Server to name a few) in order to deliver state of the art software and to maximize user experience.
Athena is built with cloud architecture; it provides a web interface, with centralized application and data hosting. This eliminates the need for maintenance and data backup.
It is also fully responsive to screen resolution changes, which makes it suitable for use in mobile platforms and devices, regardless of operating system.
We use well established architectures and third party security systems such as KeyCloak in order to make Athena impermeable to attacks to the maximum possible degree. On top of it we implement our own security processes to manage roles and users in a multi-dimensional matrix of functions, reports and parts of the academic tree.
Who, what, when
A combination of end-user process recording and low level software calls provide a robust set of auditing capabilities.
At top level, all actions regarding prospective and actual students are tied to users. This provides enough historical data to know e.g. who registered whom, what discount was given and why and so on.
At low level, all calls made to the system can potentially be monitored and recorded in order to create an extensive archive of system usage.
The strategic choice of a capable partner, not just a capable product, guarantees that the necessary support will always be there when needed. It also ensures that the final solution will keep improving and adapting to changing needs and increasing requirements. A capable software partner can even help manage requirements across the entire institution.
With a unified solution accommodating all aspects of the institution, the time and effort required to store and retrieve data is reduced dramatically. This translates to cost-effectiveness.
It also translates to better management; reports are produced at the click of button, based on real-time data. Combined with the web interface and the responsive environment, institutions can be literally managed swiftly from anywhere, anytime.
All of the above benefits will most likely show in every interaction with students and their relatives or other stakeholders, thus promoting a powerful and impressive image for the institution as a whole.